Posted by: Darrell | September 19, 2008

Student Life

The bus stop at Hirakata Station

The bus stop at Hirakata Station

I had previously shown some picture of my school and even the Japanese gardens. However, I have kept a picture diary of my life as a student at Kansai Gaidai University. My day usually begins by taking the bus from my homestay house, located at Hirakata-shi Station, to KGU. The trip is usually about 10 minutes and there are almost 15 different buses leaving the station all stopping at KGU, so the interval between buses are very minimal. Regardless of where you enter the school, you usually have to pass some guards situated at every highly securitized entrance.

The mornings are currently very quiet and peaceful, although that will probably change in the coming days as Japanese students start up school again. I usually start off my day by checking my mailbox and email at the computer lab.

The main gates at Kansai Gaidai University

The main gates at Kansai Gaidai University

Classes are usually held on the 4th floor of the Center for International Education (CIE) Building. All Japanese spoken and reading and writing all take place in the morning. Classes at KGU are usually small in size and allows for more discussion and personal connections. My largest class is 25 students and smallest is 10 students. There are 8 Japanese language classes every week, 5 spoken and 3 reading and writing. The English based classes take place in the afternoon and are only 2 periods a week.

Lunch is usually at the school cafeteria where lunches are astonishingly cheap at $2 – $5 for a full set lunch that is very filling and delicious. The cafe is pretty large although with the Japanese students coming back now, I highly doubt that statement. Regardless there are 3 different school-run cafeterias and 1 McDonalds/Seattle’s Best Coffee.

The Center for International Education at KGU

The Center for International Education at KGU

Common hangouts are in the cafe, CIE lounge, CIE computer lab and library (once in a blue moon). My life as a foreigner pretty much revolves around the CIE; however, maybe that might change when the Japanese students come back (again!). I am thinking of joining a student circle (less formal than a club) or a club, but that remains to be seen.

After a hard day’s work, (sometimes not so much) I am usually too lazy to walk home (20-30 min walk) and opt to take the bus back. I sometimes walk around the station stocking up on supplies at the 100yen store or eating the various breads and buns fresh baked at all the bakeries. And then I head home for dinner, although sometimes I head out for dinner to Kyoto or Osaka for some adventure.

Computer lab in the Center for International Education (CIE)

Computer lab in the Center for International Education (CIE)

That is pretty much my day; oddly routine yet always an adventure!

For more pictures on Kansai Gaidai and the CIE please visit the next post Student Life – More Pictures

The Student Lounge in the CIE (Gaijin Fishbowl)

The Student Lounge in the CIE (Gaijin Fishbowl)

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